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OverviewDunne & Crescenzi Italian restaurants are all about creating authentic, regional Italian food with an Irish twist. Dishes use as many locally sourced products as possible and there is a perfect marriage of the two food cultures. The restaurant in Sandymount, called Crudo, has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with plenty of regulars, which is always a good sign.
Diners to Dunne & Crescenzi can expect to get flavourful Italian food created with the best quality ingredients. Food is accompanied by excellent Italian wines and served with authentic, warm Irish and Italian hospitality. It is a delicious mix of two cultures.
Eileen Dunne and Stefano Crescenzi are a dynamic duo on the Dublin restaurant scene. The pair met when they were both working for the UN in Italy. Eileen worked on the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Stefano worked as an economist specialising in International Co-Operation and Development.
Eileen had first moved to Italy aged 17, to study art in Rome. She fell in love with Italy and its food. Stefano was born in Rome and had been brought up with good food which was learned from his grandmother, Nonna Valentina. The pair met through work and they bonded over the common love of the cuisine of Stefano’s home country. They then travelled together all over Italy researching the food and wines that have become the key to the authentic Italian experience in their restaurants.
The first Dunne & Crescenzi opened in South Frederick Street in Dublin city centre and has long provided much appreciated sustenance for the city’s workers and many visitors. Eileen and Stefano spend most days travelling between the restaurants. She looks after front of house and customer service, while Stefano oversees all menus and kitchen operations, and trains new chefs.
Crudo in Sandymount is, as Eileen describes, ‘very much a village restaurant’, with a busy clientele of mainly permanent residents. ‘It’s amazing how different it is here to South Frederick Street. We have a lot of regulars here and they always tell us what they like and don’t like, which is great because it provides us with the valuable feedback we need to keep our customers happy’, explains Eileen.
The menu in Sandymount features a lot of fish sourced from a well established supplier with their own boats in Howth. Eileen and Stefano try to use as much as possible from small producers and suppliers both in Ireland and in Italy.
The interior design at Sandymount follows the ‘house style’, which means lots of rich, dark wood furnishings and the familiar wall to wall shelving which houses conscientiously sourced Italian wines, plus Italian olive oils, pastas, and other dry ingredients necessary for Italian cooking. All of these are available to buy.
In Sandyford, you can have breakfast, brunch, lunch, weekend lunch and dinner. The breakfast menu features treats like sourdough toast with marinated ricotta and honey, Irish free range eggs and freshly baked pastries. Of course there’s coffee. Lots of strong fragrant coffee. Brunch is a more leisurely and indulgent affair and features dishes like ricotta and smoked salmon and avocado on toast.
A full a la carte offering at lunch includes antipasti, bruschetta, salads, pastas and panini. The weekend lunch and dinner offerings expands on this with meaty mains and sides. All dishes can be thoroughly explained by the professional and knowledgeable waiting staff.
Whatever you eat here, you can expect the wine to more than match up. The list includes a fine selection from all the big Italian regions, plus some nice surprises and a very reasonably priced choice of house red and white wines. What’s impressive also is the selection of Italian dessert wines by the glass. Because Italians love dessert wines and this tradition has now been brought to Dublin.
Italians are also big fans of desserts and no Italian feast is complete without a big helping of something decadent. Take your pick from panna cotta, affogato or tiramisù washed down with an espresso or a fine sweet wine. When in Rome and all that.
When it comes to produce and products, Dunne & Crescenzi sources as much as possible from small producers and suppliers in Ireland and in Italy.
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